Jan 09 | Roar Before the Rolex 24, Day One

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All-Star Ganassi Racing Lineup On Display, With Fastest Practice Speeds

Roar Day 1

Once again, the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates organization is among the favorites to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with a high-profile two-car team featuring stars from IMSA, IndyCar and NASCAR.

Intimidating on paper, the lineup was even more so on Friday, the first day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions. Ganassi cars led both practices on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course, in preparation for the Jan. 24-25 season-opening event of the IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

That lineup includes former DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who will co-drive the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP with former Indianapolis 500 champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan plus 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson.

McMurray covets a Rolex 24 win – and the championship Rolex watch awarded to winners – which should surprise no one. He’s the consummate big-stage performer. In addition to his DAYTONA 500 triumph he also has a Brickyard 400 victory and a win in Daytona’s summer event, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. His other NASCAR wins have come at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“The Rolex 24 is definitely on my bucket list,” McMurray said. “The watch – to me, that’s the trophy. I don’t even know if I’d wear it, if got one. I think I’d just look at it.”

McMurray’s teammate Scott Pruett has five Rolexes to peruse. The co-driver of the No. 01 Ford/Riley – teamed with Joey Hand, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam – is trying to become the only driver to win the Rolex 24 overall title six times. Pruett and Hurley Haywood share the all-time record of five overall victories. Four of Pruett’s wins have come as a lead driver for Ganassi Racing.

“The record is always a big deal but I never think about it,” Pruett said. “My focus is on the here and now.

“But every year, there’s just something magical about coming to Daytona. I raced here for the first time [in 1985] and it’s still just as exciting for me now as it was then.”

The first practice session was topped by the No. 02 with a fast lap of 128.926 mph (1 minute, 39.406 seconds), with Dixon at the wheel. The No. 01 logged second-fastest at 128.798 (1:39.505) with Hand driving. In the afternoon, Hand had the best lap of the second session and the day overall – 128.937 (1:39.397). Ozz Negri was second-fastest in the No. 60 Honda/Ligier JS P2, at 128.782 (1:39.517).

“It’s great … to jump in the car and have a good feel for the car and be able to go quick right away,” Hand said. “It’s a great feeling for sure. I just hope it stays that way all the way through the end of this race. “

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Roar Before the Rolex 24, which continues Saturday and Sunday, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 09 | Start Times Finalized For Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 Events

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57th annual DAYTONA 500 set for a 1 p.m. ET start

Start Times Announced

The 57th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, will start at 1 p.m. (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN Radio, SiriusXM). It’s the sixth straight year “The Great American Race” will have a start time of 1 p.m.

Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:

• The 53rd anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, Jan. 24-25, 2:10 p.m. (FOX Sports and IMSA.com)

• The Lucas Oil 200 Presented By American Real MAV TV ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Saturday, Feb. 14, 4:15 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)

• The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday, Feb. 14, 8:15 p.m. (FOX)

• Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m. (FOX)

• Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)

• NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Friday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)

• Alert Today Florida 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, Saturday, Feb. 21, 3:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)

In this year’s DAYTONA 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be seeking his second consecutive DAYTONA 500 victory. The last driver to win back-to-back DAYTONA 500s was Sterling Marlin back in 1994-95.

Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 will also provide fans with a sneak peek of DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment. Approximately 40,000 new seats will be available on the west side of the stadium, from Turn 1 toward the center of the track. Fans in these wider more comfortable seats will enjoy many of the new amenities being created by DAYTONA Rising.

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 09 | BMW to Return as Sponsor for the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Daytona

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BMW Performance 200 Scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23, part of the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend

BMW Performance 200

BMW has signed a multi-year partnership with Daytona International Speedway to serve as the title sponsor for the season-opening IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race on Friday, Jan. 23, part of the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend at the “World Center of Racing.” The official race name will be the BMW Performance 200.

This will be the fourth straight year that BMW has served as the title sponsor for the 2 ½-hour season-opening event. The partnership includes the race entitlement, on-site signage, display space and hospitality throughout the event weekend. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to continue our relationship with BMW during the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend as the title sponsor of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season opener,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “BMW has a long history of success at the ‘World Center of Racing’ and we’re looking forward to kicking off the IMSA season with the BMW Performance 200.”

As with previous years, BMW will feature a unique pace car for the BMW Performance 200; this year the BMW M4 Coupe equipped with M Performance Parts.  Last year, BMW teams started off the season in the strongest way with a 1-2-3-4 BMW M3 finish in the Grand Sport class and a 1-2 BMW 328i finish in the Street Tuner class. 

“I’m delighted to tell enthusiasts about BMW M Performance Accessories by emphasizing the success BMW has earned over four decades at North American race tracks,” said Craig Westbrook, Vice President of Aftersales for BMW of North America. “The BMW Performance 200 is the best way to start the season, and it’s a race we are exceptionally proud of because so many privately-campaigned BMW cars are entered each year.”

After numerous privateer-owned BMW cars complete the BMW Performance 200, the BMW of North America-supported BMW Team RLL will race its two new BMW Z4 GTLM chassis in the legendary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25. BMW of North America is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015 and this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona also marks the 40th anniversary of BMW Motorsport's first race in the United States. BMW Team RLL will run numbers 24 and 25 in honor of the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA Group 4 race cars that won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1975 and the Rolex 24 in 1976.

Tickets for the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session scheduled for January 9-11, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 147 BMW motorcycle retailers, 122 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:

www.bmwgroupna.com.

Dec 19 | ARCA Racing Begins Two-Day Test

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A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.

ARCA

Approximately 40 drivers took to the 2.5-mile tri-oval on the first day of a two-day ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards test session in advance of the 52nd annual Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAV TV American Real on Saturday, Feb. 14, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2015. 

Fastest on the first day of testing was Patrick Staropoli in a Ford at 188.344 mph followed by eight-time Lucas Oil 200 champion Bobby Gerhart at 187.196 and Leilani Munter at 187.188. For complete times, visit www.arcaracing.com  

Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, who finished third in the 2014 Lucas Oil 200, was seventh fastest in the afternoon session at 185.962 in a Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet. 

ARCA testing concludes on Saturday.

Dec 19 | Sunoco Whelen Challenge Winner Phil Keen Takes First Laps at Daytona International Speedway

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Keen, a 31-year-old racer from the United Kingdom, was the winner of the 2015 Sunoco Whelen Challenge and earned a driver’s seat for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25.

Phil Keen

Radical SR3 Challenge champion Phil Keen got his first taste of the twists and turns of Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday during testing for the 53rd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Keen, a 31-year-old racer from the United Kingdom, was the winner of the 2015 Sunoco Whelen Challenge and earned a driver’s seat for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25. Keen will join Max Papis, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP fielded by Action Express Racing, a team that has won the Rolex 24 in 2010 and 2014.

Action Express Racing was among a handful of teams on Tuesday wrapping up a two-day test of the Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course in advance of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season opener and Keen had the opportunity to spend significant track time wheeling the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.

“It’s an awesome place, an awesome track,” Keen said. “I’m really looking forward to the (Rolex) 24 hour. I’ve always wanted to come to America to race and I’m lucky to have the chance to do it.”

 

Phil Keen 

Tickets for the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session scheduled for January 9-11, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Dec 19 | Kid Rock to Headline the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show

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Kid Rock will perform several of his hits, including his brand new single “First Kiss,” on pit road of the “World Center of Racing” prior to the start of the DAYTONA 500, the prestigious season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Kid Rock

Multi-platinum award-winning, American rock star Kid Rock will perform the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the 57th annual “Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 22 (1 p.m. – FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Radio.)

Kid Rock will perform several of his hits, including his brand new single “First Kiss,” on pit road of the “World Center of Racing” prior to the start of the DAYTONA 500, the prestigious season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Kid Rock’s DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close, along with driver introductions.

“We’re thrilled to have Kid Rock entertain the thousands of race fans in attendance and the millions more watching on FOX,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Kid Rock is an avid NASCAR fan and will provide race fans with a spectacular performance leading up to the start of the much anticipated DAYTONA 500.

Following his performance, Kid Rock will release his latest studio album First Kiss on Tuesday, Feb. 24.  Fans can pre-order the album now at participating retailers and at KidRock.com.  Kid Rock, whose musical style ranges from hip hop and rock to heavy metal and country, has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide.

Kid Rock joins a long list of past performers of the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show including Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Bon Jovi.

In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Kid Rock has been created that includes a DAYTONA 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Kid Rock’s performance.  Packages start at $169. Fans who have already purchased DAYTONA 500 tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for just $104.

For more information on tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

For more information on Kid Rock, visit www.kidrock.com.

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